About a year ago, Kanye West’s life and career took a bizarre turn when he decided to storm the stage at Radio City Music Hall during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, grab the microphone away from Best Female Video winner Taylor Swift and declare Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” one of “the best videos of all time … of all time!” What followed was a bizarre ride for the producer and rapper, as he made a high-profile public apology, then went into hiding for a while before beginning his big comeback that will peak again when he performs at the 2010 Video Music Awards this Sunday, September 12. Though he called Swift personally to apologize shortly after the initial incident, over the weekend West used his new favorite toy — Twitter — to once again apologize to Swift before the one year anniversary of the initial event.
“I’m sorry, Taylor,” he wrote on his always-entertaining feed. “We’re both artists, and the media and managers are trying to get between us. She deserves the apology more than anyone. Thank you [Twitter co-founders] Biz Stone and Evan Williams for creating a platform where we can communicate directly.”
In making his public apology, West joins the ranks of some of the finest music-related my-bads in history. Check out the luminaries who are now his peers.
Dave Matthews Band
“I’ll apologize for that as long as I have to,” Dave Matthews told the Chicago NBC station last year. The “that” in question is an incident in 2004 when the group’s bus driver dumped 800 pounds of human waste in the Chicago River and accidentally doused a tour boat full of tourists. “I regret that enormously, and I know some people there accept my apology and other people don’t, but I can’t do anything about it now,” he said. “If Snoop Dogg had done it, it probably would have raised his record sales, but it applies differently to everybody.”
At the beginning of 2010, Mayer gave a much-passed-around interview in Playboy wherein he repeatedly used the N-word. After he caught a bunch of flack for it, he took to Twitter to apologize. “Re: using the ’N’ word in an interview, I am sorry,” he said via Twitter. “I should have never said the word and I will never say it again.”
Following his arrest for assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna during the weekend of the Grammy Awards in 2009, Brown removed himself from the public eye for a few months (not unlike West). Toward the end of the year, he re-emerged to deliver his mea culpa (and also to promote his new album Graffiti). “I really wanted to apologize [to] the people that I let down and show people that I am wrong for what I’ve done,” he told MTV News’ Sway. “I want people to learn from it and see that I’m really apologetic.”
The legendary hip-hop producer had a run-in with television personality Dee Barnes back in 1990 (in the N.W.A days). Barnes had blamed Dre for Ice Cube’s exit from the group, and when they ran into each other at a record release party, Dre assaulted Barnes before a bodyguard broke it up. Dre would be mocked for the incident years later in Eminem’s “Guilty Conscience,” but he also delivered a famously casual apology. “People talk all this s—, but you know, somebody f— with me, I’m gonna f— with them. I just did it, you know,” he said. “Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing — I just threw her through a door.”
After tearing away a piece of Janet Jackson’s outfit and revealing one of her breasts during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII. After everybody went absolutely crazy over it, Timberlake meekly addressed the issue. “I know it’s been a rough week on everybody,” Timberlake said during the Grammy Awards a week later. “What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable and I apologize if you guys were offended.”
Most Every Baseball Player Ever
OK, so they aren’t musicians, but every single apology an athlete makes (and especially a baseball player makes) for using performance-enhancing drugs sounds completely lame. Kanye can feel good that he’s done a better job than Roger Clemens or Sammy Sosa.